Toulon coach Laporte ban extended to 16 weeks

Toulon coach Bernard Laporte had his 13-week ban for a bitter verbal attack on a referee extended to a season-ending 16 weeks on Friday.

The former French national coach had appealed his initial punishment, but the European champions said Friday that the French Rugby Federation (FFR) had decided to add three more weeks to his suspension.

The ban, which covers access to stadiums as well as referee and player dressing rooms, will end on June 3.

Laporte found himself in the dock after seeing red at referee Laurent Cardona following Toulon’s 22-21 loss to Grenoble in the Top 14 on January 4.

Laporte described Cardona as “hopeless” and “incompetent”.

“He robs us every time. On the game’s last move there was a strategic error, a referee error,” Laporte, who also served as a sports minister in the French government, told RMC Sport radio in the wake of the match.

“It is not just this incident where he was hopeless. He was hopeless all the matches. He is always hopeless,” he added.

European champions Toulon were also fined 10,000 euros over the outburst.

In 2012, Laporte was banned for 60 days for insulting referee Romain Poite.

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